10 Best VOIP routers (2022 small business guide)

10-best-voip-routers

VOIP routers are often needed in business settings. The best VOIP routers should offer higher speeds and cater for more demanding usage in the business environment.

In this article, we’ll explain what VOIP routers are and more importantly outline the top 10 VOIP routers your small business should be looking into. Let’s get started.

What is a VOIP router? 

VOIP routers are hybrid networking devices that allow for phone calls to be made and received over an internet connection, rather than traditional telephony methods.

Depending on your needs, there are dual-band routers (two bands) and tri-band routers available in the market. VOIP routers are known for improving the quality of your VOIP calls.

Types of VOIP routers

Wired Routers

Ethernet cables are used to connect the modem/ISP to the network’s local devices. Wired routers can provide a few distinct benefits such as:

  • Advanced firewalls for improved security
  • Fewer signal drops
  • Less latency and jitter (What is VOIP latency & why it matters)
  • Significantly faster connection speed
  • It is a reliable connection

Wireless Routers

Similarly to wired routers, wireless routers connect to a modem using ethernet cables but connect to local devices wirelessly via Wi-Fi. To balance bandwidth and coverage, wireless routers send out 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequencies.

Wireless router benefits include:

  • Convenient connection for smartphones and laptops
  • Can connect multiple devices at once
  • No wires make it easy to keep the office neat
  • Fast and secure for most consumer activities

Core Routers

Larger businesses would typically require the use of core routers because of their vast local networks and higher data requirements. Core routers are expensive because they are the fastest and most powerful routers in the world.

The core router serves as the first point of contact for the core internet connection within your organization. Thus, transmitting data to a variety of smaller networks around it.

Edge Routers

Edge routers as the middle man between your Internet Service Provider (ISP) networks and core routers. They sit on the edge of the ISP networks and receive data from core routers.

In this process, edge routers stabilise the flow of data and communication amongst those networks by distributing the data collected from core routers.

VPN Routers

VPN routers work similarly to regular routers, the difference is that they provide a VPN (Virtual Private Network) protection for any devices connected to them.

A user’s IP address is masked and thus hides their online activity from anyone monitoring a user’s private network activity.

Wireless VOIP routers

If you’re tired of the mess that comes with too many cables/wires, wireless VOIP routers are the best option. Wireless VOIP routers are devices that facilitate phone calls over an internet connection.

Local devices connect to the router wirelessly. Wireless VOIP routers are commonly used in homes and in small businesses for the convenience they offer.

Wired VOIP routers

Unlike wireless VOIP routers, wired routers make use of ethernet cables to connect to the modem/ISP and local device networks.

Wired routers provide companies that use VOIP with several benefits including fewer signal drops, reliability and secure lines, just to name a few.

Virtual VOIP routers

A virtual router is a software that does the job of a router and eliminates having a black box in the office. Virtual routers are most commonly used as a backup to your primary office router.

Virtual routers are perfect for businesses that cannot afford any downtime or disruption of service and setting up dedicated lines for VOIP traffic.

VOIP router features

There are many types of routers to choose from but there are router features you should be on the lookout for:

Quality of Service (QoS)

QoS serves as a performance/description metric that measures the quality of service. QoS is a feature that prioritises certain traffic through a network first. QoS, ensure that your VOIP applications and service are a top priority and keep phone calls running smoothly.

Dual/Tri-Band Frequencies

This feature relates to wireless routers. Each wireless router has two frequencies or bands: 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. Dual-band routers consist of one band for each frequency, whereas tri-band routers consist of three bands: one 2.4 GHz band and two 5GHz bands.

VLAN

Virtual LANs take accountability for network management, security and scalability. With VLANs, you can segment your network into smaller, distinct virtual networks and subnets. Essentially, VLANs help prioritize VOIP voice data over other networks for high-quality calling.

802.11ac and Mu-MIMO

802.11ac is a wireless LAN technology that provides a performance boost in wireless connectivity speeds.

Mu-MIMO (multiuser-multiple input, multiple output) is a newer router feature that allows for environments that have many users trying to access the same wireless network. This allows for multiple users to share a device without sacrificing connectivity speeds.

H.323 and SIP Support

H.323 and SIP are both IP signalling standards that represent protocols and standards for multimedia communication.

Advantages of VOIP routers 

Reduced costs

VOIP (Why is VOIP cheaper than regular phones) is best known for how much cheaper it is to make and receive phone calls, this is because all calls happen over an internet connection. Unlike traditional landlines, you can save up to 60% on your monthly phone bill.

Works on any mobile device

VOIP routers can connect to any local device using ethernet cables or a wireless connection (Wi-Fi). Internet-enabled devices such as desktops, laptops, VOIP phones (Best VOIP phones – Top 10 options for 2022) and smartphones can connect to VOIP routers with ease.

Improved voice quality

VOIP improves voice quality by using Wideband audio technology. Wideband codecs have a higher audio bit depth and result in higher voice quality in phone calls.

Scalability

As your business grows, you can easily grow your VOIP service and add more phone lines with ease. VOIP routers make it easy for employees to collaborate with one another and customers.

Advanced features

In addition to the VOIP router features mentioned above, VOIP technology has a multitude of advanced features that traditional phone systems cannot offer. You can select a set of features that fit well with your business and add/remove features based on your business needs.

How to choose a VOIP router for business

There are various VOIP router options to choose from in the market but before you start searching and finding out the capabilities of each router, you need to ask yourself a set of questions in relation to your business:

  • What is the outlined budget for a VOIP router?
  • Will you need a router for other data besides VOIP?
  • Are you looking for faster internet speed, network protection or greater area coverage?
  • How many people will be connected to the router at a time? Do you have any employees working remotely?
  • Do you require a wired or wireless VOIP router?

Answering these questions and researching the various VOIP router options available should help you make a well-informed decision for your business.

Further reading: VoIP phone system for small businesses

10 best VOIP routers

  1. ASUS RT-AX88U

Rated the best overall, the dual-band router has high network speeds, strong security and numerous features such as:
– Next-gen 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) Standard
– 6000 Mbps Wi-Fi speed
– OFDMA and MU-MIMO Technology
– Target Wake Time power-saving lengthens battery life
– 8 LAN Ports and 4 antennas
– Adaptive QoS
– ASUS AiMesh compatibility extends Wi-Fi range by up to 80%
– ASUS AiProtection for data security

2. SonicWall TZ270

If security is high on your priority list, this is the right router for your business. In addition to strong security, strong features such as data prioritization and network reliability. Key features involve:
– Next-generation firewall with threat protection suite for high-level security
– Dual-WAN ports for automatic failover and load balancing
– Up to 10 ports with built-in storage and external storage up to 256GB
– SD-WAN capability for varied types of connections
– QoS and MU-MIMO for data/bandwidth control
– Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)
– Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection to block unfamiliar malware

3. Cisco 900 Series wired routers

The Cisco 900 series provides small to medium businesses a balanced option and supports different connectivity types such as broadband, ethernet and wireless LTE LAN. Key features include:
– Integrated security features
– Dual-WAN ports for failover protection and load balancing
– Dynamic failover protocols: VRRP and HSRP
– Can run multiple devices simultaneously with no performance degradation
– Perimeter security with application inspection firewall
– High-speed Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES) Security
– Supports broadband, Ethernet, or LTE WAN

4. Synology RT2600ac


Rated the best for traffic monitoring. Key features include:
– Synology Router Manager (SRM) core technology
– Smart Wi-Fi with an easy-to-use interface
– Smart Connect band-steering technology
– Layer 7 Traffic Control, MU-MIMO, and QoS for data traffic control
– Security Advisor
– Intrusion Prevention package
– Detailed usage reports about network devices

5. TP-Link Archer AX6000


The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is best suited for smaller offices or home offices because of its internet throughput and speed. Some of the key features include:
– Next-gen 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) standard with 6000 Mbps wireless speeds
– 8 LAN ports
– Strong 5GHz band ideal for small businesses or home offices
– 8 antennas with Range Boost for a strong network signal
– Airtime Fairness can distribute data evenly among devices
– HomeCare with TrendMicro has strong built-in intrusion protection
– OneMesh connects TP-Link routers to form an extended wireless network

6. Netgear Nighthawk X10


Rated the best device for streaming simultaneously with VOIP. A 1.7 GHz quad-core processor allows you to stream media and offers key VOIP features. Key features include:
– Fastest Wi-Fi speed in the industry
– Plex Media Server, to store all media directly on the router
– Quad-Stream with four data streams per band
– Enhanced Active Antennas with Wi-Fi amplifiers on top of each antenna
– Nighthawk App for easy setup and router oversight
– Instant downloads and backup
– MU-MIMO and QoS for data traffic control

7. Adtran NetVanta 3430


This is the best option for businesses with large VOIP demands with a local network. The Adtran NetVanta 3430 excels at managing an abundance of VOIP traffic at once. Key features include:
– Can support up to two T1s at once
– Adtran Operating System (AOS)
– Stateful inspection firewall
– RapidRoute technology for optimized data routing
– Voice Quality Monitoring (VQM) for VoIP quality feedback
– 10 fast ethernet ports (8 LAN and 2 WAN)

8. Linksys EA8300 max-stream


Rated the best for building a local wireless network. The router can cover large spaces and users are connected to the strongest wifi signal, allowing them to move around freely. Key features include:
– Tri-band technology with total speeds up to 2.2Gbps
– Seamless roaming utilizes the strongest Wi-Fi connection per device
– Smart Connect selects the strongest band for each device
– Advanced band steering
– Linksys App with easy setup
– Auto Updates
– MU-MIMO, QoS, and advanced beamforming

9. ASUS RT-AC68U


This router provides great value for money by providing commercial-grade security, local Wi-Fi network creation, and data bandwidth control at speed at affordable prices. Key features include:
– AiProtection provides network security
– AiMesh allows connection to other ASUS routers for network creation
– ASUSWRT intuitive dashboard interface
– TurboQAM Wi-Fi acceleration for boosted 802.11ac speeds
– AiRadar with beamforming and ASUS RF fine-tuning for a strong, focused signal

10. TP-Link Archer VR2800 modem router


Rated the best router for VOIP on a DSL modem. This router provides great value for companies and homes outside urban areas. Key features include:
– Can work as a DSL modem router
– DSL connection supports internet in remote areas
– NitroQAM technology boosts 2800 Mbps wireless network speeds up to 25%
– 2 USB ports support 3G/4G dongle connections for backup internet and failover
– Tether App and TP-LINK ID, with an intuitive web interface, allow easy setup and network management

How to set up a VOIP router

Test your network and internet connection

VOIP technology and capabilities require at least 100kbps download and upload bandwidth for each line. Conduct a VOIP speed test to stress your network and troubleshoot any potential issues.

It’s also best practice to configure Quality of Service (QoS) to prioritize VOIP packets and data over the rest of your network.

Invest in the right VOIP hardware

To take advantage of VOIP benefits such as great sound quality on phone calls, it’s important to invest in good quality VOIP desk phones and headsets.

Alternatively, you can save on hardware costs by getting softphones. Softphones come in the form of VOIP calling apps and web apps, which allow employees to make and receive phone calls on their smartphones or desktops/laptops.

Find a VOIP provider with the right features

Switching to VOIP has great benefits and cost savings, however, it’s important to get a VOIP provider and VOIP router that matches your business needs. VOIP is flexible and scalable, adding new features to your VOIP service is not a hassle. Your VOIP service provider can easily set that up for you.

Test your new VOIP lines

Once your VOIP router has been set up and connected to your hardware. There are a few things you should test:

  • Audio Quality: Pay attention to clear and consistent phone calls. Are there any static or other signs of low-quality audio?
  • Latency: Are there any delays in audio?
  • Connection stability: Did you experience any call drops? Test this for at least 15-30 minutes.

VoIP router comparison

RouterStarting
Prices
Quality of
Service
(QoS)
VOIP
Support
Wi-Fi
ASUS
RT-AX88U
$349.99Available H.323, SIP802.11ax
(Wi-Fi 6)
SonicWall
TZ270
$596.37Available H.323, SIP802.11ac
(Wi-Fi 5) Wave 2
Cisco
900 Series
$689.50Available SIP ALGN/A
Synology
RT2600ac
$180Available No, but offers
load balancing
802.11ac
(Wi-Fi 5) Wave 2
TP-Link
Archer AX6000
$279.99Available No, but offers
MU-MIMO &
OFDMA
802.11ax
(Wi-Fi 6)
Netgear
Nighthawk X10
$399.99Available H.323, SIP802.11ac
(Wi-Fi 5) Wave 2
Adtran
NetVanta 3430
$1,514.99Available SIP ALGN/A
Linksys EA8300
max-stream
$199.99Available No802.11ac
(Wi-Fi 5)
Wave 2
ASUS
RT-AC68U
$129.99Available H.323, SIP802.11ac
(Wi-Fi 5)
TP-Link Archer
VR2800 modem router
$314.65Available SIP ALG802.11ac
(Wi-Fi 5) Wave 2

VOIP router FAQs

Do modems work with VoIP? 

Although modems were originally developed to work with the traditional telephone network. They can be configured to work with VOIP.

What is the best VoIP modem router?

NETGEAR Nighthawk C7100V
This VOIP modem router has speeds of up to 300mbps, Wi-Fi, 1x LAN gigabit port and 2x USB 2.0 ports. It can offer two phone lines for 3-way conferencing and automatically prioritizes voice calls over the internet.

How do I add VoIP to my router?

  • Power off the modem and router
  • Connect the VoIP phone handset to the base station
  • Connect an Ethernet cable to the desktop phone
  • Connect the Ethernet cable to the router or modem
  • Power up the modem and router
  • Connect the AC adapter to the VoIP phone
  • Check an outbound call

Do I need a special modem for VoIP?

The answer is no, once you’ve installed a VOIP application, you can make and receive calls from that device.

How do I enable VoIP on my router?

  • Power off the modem and router
  • Connect the VoIP phone handset to the base station
  • Connect an Ethernet cable to the desktop phone
  • Connect the Ethernet cable to the router or modem
  • Power up the modem and router
  • Connect the AC adapter to the VoIP phone
  • Check an outbound call

Can I use VoIP with my router?

This depends largely on your VOIP provider and which VOIP products/software you’re using, and how your router has been configured.

What equipment is required for VoIP?

  • VOIP modem and router
  • Stable internet connection
  • VOIP desktop phones
  • VOIP headsets

How do I connect my VoIP phone to my router?

  • Locate the Ethernet ports on the back panel of your router.
  • Insert one end of an Ethernet cable into an open port on the router. Connect the other end of the cable to the Ethernet port on the VoIP phone.
  • Connect the phone to a power source.
  • Follow the instructions provided by your VoIP service provider to configure the VoIP phone for call service.
  • Make a test call to ensure that your VoIP phone is working correctly and the quality of the audio is satisfactory.

Why should I buy a VOIP router? 

VOIP routers improve the quality of your VOIP phone calls. Essentially, using a VOIP router is a cost-effective way of higher speeds and great quality VOIP calls.

How do you troubleshoot a VoIP router?

  • Evaluate your internet speed
  • Check your configuration options
  • Improve your networks performance with new firmware
  • Change your routers location